Commentary: Hashimoto: Loud Talk, Small Stick

In Japanese they call it chabangeki. In English, a farce. No matter how you put it, Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto is presiding over a send-up of administrative reform, deregulation, and economic pump priming. The travesty can't help but further fray relations between the U.S. and Japan, America's No.2 trading partner (after Canada) and keystone ally in Asia. The strains are deepening just when U.S. relations with Asia's other powerhouse, China, are particularly delicate.

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